Local

July 13, 2012

March ARB takes on the Super Guppy

Tags:
by Darnell Gardner
452 AMW public affairs
Guppy 1

The transit alert parking area at March Air Reserve Base, Calif., was the brief resting place of a very awkward looking aircraft, referred to as the “Super Guppy,” on June 28. It was just a quick gas-and-go for the flight crew and their hulking aircraft, but for onlookers from March ARB, it was probably a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Bystander Val Ubaldo, 452d Installation Personnel Readiness section said without hesitation, “I don’t know what it is.” Curiosity, amazement and wonderment, were part of the “wow-factor” that kept him fixated on the oddly shaped aircraft. He could not resist asking flight line personnel servicing the aircraft questions about the aircraft’s shape, mission and why it was here. When told it was a NASA aircraft transporting the space shuttle trainer’s crew compartment, his search for answers was satisfied so he continued to look on while taking a few pictures.

The Super Guppy sprouted wings in 1962, after being specially designed from the base of a KC-97 and a Stratocruiser. The aircraft were cut in half horizontally, extended 16 feet, then grossly expanded in diameter, taking on the image of a guppy with a swollen cranium.

They were initially assigned as transport platforms for the European Space Agency, but after noting the aircraft’s versatility, NASA decided to join the list of users.

The Super Guppy has the capacity to carry up to 26 tons of cargo. Its cargo compartment is 25 feet tall, 25 feet wide, and 111 feet long. The nose of the aircraft opens more than 200 degrees to the side, allowing for easy uploading and downloading of cargo.

“When fully loaded with cargo, we get about 240 knots of true airspeed,” said “Ray-J” Johnson, aircraft commander. “We are not a performance-driven platform, because of our payload and shape. We have to fly at low altitudes, which greatly increases our fuel consumption.”

“We are moving about 3500 pounds of cargo today for NASA, but we can also be contracted to move cargo for other entities,” said Johnson, who is also an astronaut.

The Guppy received a full complement of ground services from the March transit alert crew and then continued on its journey to Travis Air Force Base, Calif.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Even in drought March stays ‘green’ through recycling

March Air Reserve Base has established a recycling program to help minimize the amount of waste sent to landfills which, in turn, prevents pollution, conserves natural resources and saves money. After all, less material sent to the landfill as trash means less money spent by March ARB on trash disposal. Team March members can recycle...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang

Retiree Activities office provides information, referral

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Joseph Dangidang Retired Tech. Sgt. Sandra Wells, one of the newest volunteers at the March Retiree Activities office, files some documents during her three-hour shift. They are always seeking...
 
 

Service members receiving RAND Military Workplace Survey

FORT MEADE, Md. — About 580,000 service members have begun receiving emails or letters inviting them to participate in the first RAND Military Workplace Study, Defense Department officials said. Active and reserve component members in all military branches and the Coast Guard are being invited to participate. “The survey is unprecedented in its scale and...
 

 

452 Aerial Port Support Flight hosts Marine training operation

More than two dozen light armored reconnaissance vehicles, equipment and personnel were transported by the 1st Light Armor Reconnaissance Battalion from Camp Pendleton, California, to launch a training operation at March Air Reserve Base, July 21. This exercise allowed the 1st LAR the ability to apply capabilities and core mission essential tasks learned at their...
 
 
Courtesy photo

HomeStrong USA gives opportunity for free home-ownership to local military veteran

Courtesy photo A volunteer, working with HomeStrong USA, makes repairs on the outside of a home that is being renovated for a deserving veteran. The non-profit organization donates renovated single-family homes to eligible vete...
 
 
Photo courtesy of AFN
MC2(SW/AW)

AFN does Comic-Con, brings home the goods

Photo courtesy of AFNMC2(SW/AW) Stephen Hale interviews Adelaide Kane, who plays Mary, Queen of Scots, in the dramatic TV series Reign at the 2014 ComicCon International in San Diego, California. The American Forces Network is ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin